Captain Kirk, Spock & Yielding FleshFriday, February 27, 2015
Two events have led to the inspiration for this blog. One was the announced death of Leonard Nimoy today and the other a most recent two-day photographic experience with a Seattle cellist.
My introduction to Star Trek was in Mexico in the late 60s in Mexico City. It was called La Odisea del Espacio. It didn’t take me long to find a reason as to why I liked the show. I saw in Captain Kirk the impulsive man whose emotions were primary in his actions. Spock was all logic with suppressed emotions. This was an obvious conflict. You could call it a three-act-structure TV show with an additional internal three-act one particularly championed by TV producer/author Stephen J. Cannell. He said that any of his TV series were successful because each one introduced a hero, then a conflict with an anti-hero/villain which resolved in the third act.
Star Trek’s internal third act was the conflict between the emotion of Kirk and the logic of Spock. The solution, almost always, was the intercession of Doctor McCoy’s (interesting that his name was Leonard) humanity.
We humans in many philosophies are seen as a blend/conflict between the heart (within the centre of our body) and that upper region mind embedded by the magic of electricity in our brains.
For 40 days and 40 nights (the origin of these 40 days of Lent) the devil tempted Christ in the dessert addressing Him to the perceived weaknesses of His body through his heart. Christ’s mind prevailed and the devil failed in his purpose.
Sometime in the late 70s I took some infrared nudes on Wreck Beach and something within me opened to what led to an obsession for years and even now. I remember showing those first results to Mac Parry who at the time was editor of Vancouver Magazine. He looked at my pictures and smiled. He smiled as someone who knew all about it and could predict my course into the obsession that has taken me in my pursuit of the erotic through photography.
I must confess that I attempted to dabble in pornography but my efforts were always thwarted by an internal mechanism that I call good taste. Every time, my photographs became, to my chagrin, “tasteful” in the eyes of the few artful liberals in this city of mine.
So when I was taking head shots of the Seattle cellist, one with unprecedented liberal views even though she hails from a state that was brought into the American Union by Lincoln's presidential decree, I told her that at my-now-advanced-age of 72 my view of Eros was purely in the Spock zone. At long last I am not at the beck and call of that Kirkian below-the-black belt.
Long ago when I was still subject to an erotic duality I called up a favourite subject and asked her, “What is erotic?” Her answer was a strange and short, “Yielding flesh.” Since then I have come to understand that. When I was taking pictures of the cellist I noticed that the two notches of the body of the cello were embedding into her thighs. I inquired and was told that she actually has permanent marks. She also added that to her and most cellists, the sound of a cello is felt through the stomach. I wonder if this, in my mind, Kirkian view of music might not someday be shifted upwards, as she gets older, into the realm of the mind or will Doctor McCoy prevail with a “Jim, for God's sakes she’s human.”
The cellist or the cello, take your pick.